Thursday, August 11, 2016

Williams Lake BC to Ferndale USA

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep near Spences Bridge, Trans-Canada Highway, BC

This 325 mile drive took us 2 days…250 yesterday (Tuesday), and 75 today.  The first half of yesterdays trip, from Williams Lake to Cache Creek, was good.  From Cache Creek to the US Border was absolutely gorgeous.  At Cache Creek we pick up the Trans Canada Highway, and soon enter Thompson Canyon along the Thompson River.  It was at Spences Bridge, population of under 200, along the Thompson River within Thompson Canyon, that we saw this small herd of young Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep along the highway.  In this area, the snowfall is around 2 feet per year, with average temperatures ranging from as high as 85 to as low as 20…although the record high is 108 and record low is –20.  So living here is not “that” hard, but one MUST be prepared for the extremes. 

Williams Lake, Caraboo Highway BC

The drive started out much like the last … miles of scenery with lots of power lines.

Williams Lake, Caraboo Highway BC     Williams Lake, Caraboo Highway BC

Williams Lake, the community where we stayed Monday night, is just north of Williams Lake, a body of water which is 5 miles long, and nearly a mile wide.  The lake runs east to west, and the Cariboo Highway runs along the northern end of the lake…along with a lot of electrical wires.

Cariboo Plateau,  Caraboo Highway BC     Cariboo Plateau,  Caraboo Highway BC

This area is part of the Cariboo Plateau, a volcanic plateau in south-central British Columbia.  The Plateau runs south just past Cache Creek.

Classic Car on Caraboo Highway BC

Sorry Arny, I almost got a picture of all of it…I guess this guy loves “Gold”.

Lower Cariboo Plateau,  Caraboo Highway BC      Lower Cariboo Plateau,  Caraboo Highway BC

Lower Cariboo Plateau,  Caraboo Highway BC

The plateau area is full of lakes and streams, farm land, and painted skies.

Lower Cariboo Plateau,  Caraboo Highway BC

We had a very little bit of rain, enough to wet the pavement and window, not enough to cause us any problems.

Lac La Hache Caraboo Highway BC

Lac La Hache, or “The Lake of the Axe”, was named during the fur trade, after the unfortunate incident of a French-Canadian voyageur who lost his axe head while chopping a hole in the ice.  A recreational and retirement community by the same name is now along the lake.

 Caraboo Highway before Cache Creek, BC     Caraboo Highway before Cache Creek, BC 

Caraboo Highway before Cache Creek, BC

As we get closer to Cache Creek, the terrain changes.  The first half of the days drive is over…the second half is entirely different…

Thompson River, Trans-Canada Highway  BC     Thompson River, Trans-Canada Highway  BC

After Cache Creek the Thompson River is on the driver’s side of the road as we drive further south.  It is hard for me to take pictures unless we stop, and it is hard to stop since the pullouts are on the other side of the road.  Above I stop and get a picture to the north from where we passed, and to the south toward where we are headed.

Thompson River, Trans-Canada Highway  BC

I get a few shots, but the road has curves, and traffic, and we wonder if we missed too many good shots…but then…

Bridge over Thompson River, Trans-Canada Highway  BC

…we come to the Spences Bridge community, we pass the Big Horn sheep (first picture), and we cross the Thompson River.  Now Marcia has free ride to take picture after picture with the river on her side…and she does…nearly 300 more pictures!  That’s what I get for having it set on multi-picture mode…

Thompson River, Trans-Canada Highway  BC     Thompson River, Trans-Canada Highway  BC 

Train tunnel along Thompson River, Trans-Canada Highway  BC
The Thompson River runs through a real nice canyon.  In the bottom picture, if you look close just above the river, there are  a series of tunnels, three shown in this picture alone.  To the left is a close up of one of those tunnels.

Thompson River above Lytton BC, Trans-Canada Highway    Thompson River above Lytton BC, Trans-Canada Highway 

Kumsheen Rafting Resort,  Trans-Canada Highway

This area of the Thompson River has some very serious rapids.  It even has a “Rafting Resort”, the Kumsheen Rafting Resort, a rustic adventure sports resort with teepees and cabins is a 6-minute walk from the Fraser River.  In addition to whitewater rafting, mountain biking and rock climbing trips, the resort features an outdoor pool, a hot tub and a poolside bar…along with RV hookups.

Fraser River below Lytton BC, Trans-Canada Highway     Fraser River below Lytton BC, Trans-Canada Highway

Thompson River merges with Fraser River, Lytton BC, picture from WikipediaAt the community of Lytton the Thompson River merges with the Fraser River.  The Fraser River is a much darker river than the Thompson.   Above are two pictures after the merge.  I did not get a picture of the merge, but found this one to the left on the Internet.  Thank you Barbara for pointing it out to me…but we missed the turnoff to get the picture.  Sad smile  

Trans-Canada Highway, Hell's Gate Tram, BC     Trans-Canada Highway, Hell's Gate Tunnel, BC

As we got close to Hope, our destination for the night, we passed by “Hell’s Gate”, an  abrupt narrowing of the Fraser River.  There is a tram which takes people down to the other side of the river.  The picture on the left is the ticket office for the tram.  Just a little further down the road is a series of tunnels, one of which is named “Hell’s Gate” (if you click on the picture to the right, you can read the name along the bottom right of the picture.)   We were just thankful that the only “Hell’s Gate” that we had to pass through was just a traffic tunnel.  Smile

Trans-Canada Highway, Hope BC
30 miles more to Hope where we stayed at the Wild Rose Campground, $31 Canadian for full hookups with good cable.  I got rid of the rest of my Canadian money, and left her an extra $2 which I asked her to use to help some child who was short buying an ice cream.  She smiled and said, “I do that all the time..."

Trans-Canada Highway, Hope to US Border     Trans-Canada Highway, Hope to US Border 

Trans-Canada Highway, Hope to US Border    Trans-Canada Highway, Hope to US Border 

Sumas Port, US Border

Fifty miles down the road and we cross back into the states at the Sumas Port of Entry.  I wish it was as easy for me to get into Canada as it is to the United States.  Another 20 miles and we are at the The Cedars RV Resort for two nights.  It is nice to be back in the lower 48…and we will always remember this wonderful trek to a place called Alaska, along with the trip up and back through a very wonderful area of Canada.


  1. I had to laugh, at first I thought the picture of the merger was mine from Flickr, but looking again at mine, it's aimed a little different. Same bush in the foreground though.

    1. Nope, got mine from Wikipedia...their pictures are all in the public domain so they are ok to use for non-profit purposes. I did make some cropping adjustments to it. We almost turned back, but it is so hard to find a place to turn back at.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks we just need to recover from that little drive we just did. :)


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